Brain Circuit Alterations and Cognitive Disability in Late-Onset Cobalamin D Disorder

Javier De Las Heras, Ibai Diez, Antonio Jimenez-Marin, Alberto Cabrera, Daniela Ramos-Usuga, Marta Venecia Diaz-Fernandez, Leire Torices,Caroline E. Nunes-Xavier, Rafael Pulido, Juan Carlos Arango-Lasprilla, and Jesus M. Cortes. Brain Circuit Alterations and Cognitive Disability in Late-Onset Cobalamin D Disorder. J Clinical Medicine 9: 990, 2020 [pdf]

Neuroimaging studies describing brain circuits’ alterations in cobalamin (vitamin B12)-deficient patients are limited and have not been carried out in patients with inborn errors of cobalamin metabolism. The objective of this study was to assess brain function and brain circuit alterations in a patient with an ultra-rare inborn error of cobalamin metabolism, methylmalonic aciduria, and homocystinuria due to cobalamin D disease, as compared with his twin sister as a healthy control (HC). We acquired magnetic resonance imaging (including structural, functional, and diffusion images) to calculate brain circuit abnormalities and combined these results with the scores after a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation. As compared with HC, the patient had severe patterns of damage, such as a 254% increment of ventricular volume, pronounced subcortical and cortical atrophies (mainly at striatum, cingulate cortex, and precuneus), and connectivity alterations at fronto-striato-thalamic circuit, cerebellum, and corpus callosum. In agreement with brain circuit alterations, cognitive deficits existed in attention, executive function, inhibitory control, and mental flexibility. This is the first study that provides the clinical, genetic, neuroanatomical, neuropsychological, and psychosocial characterizations of a patient with the cobalamin D disorder, showing functional alterations in central nervous system motor tracts, thalamus, cerebellum, and basal ganglia, that, as far as we know, have not been reported yet in vitamin B12-related disorders.

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